116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department will use $200,000 to enhance Ryerson’s Woods State Preserve on the city’s south side.
The city was awarded the funds through a grant from the Resource Enhancement and Protection program out of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, according to a news release.
Potential improvements to Ryerson’s Woods include invasive species removal, trail work, interpretive panels and site amenities, native tree plantings and native seedlings.
“These improvements will benefit the local, regional and statewide park visitors by enhancing and preserving the character of the park while maintaining its welcoming environment,” the city said in the release.
The 49-acre preserve was acquired in 1985 and is near the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Ryerson’s Woods was designated a state preserve in 2014, joining a list of more than 90 preserves recognized by the state for significant natural or cultural features.
The city will follow recommendations from the Ryerson’s Woods management plan and the Iowa City park master plan, as well as the city’s natural areas inventory and management plan.
REAP funds are used to protect the state’s natural and cultural resources. The funds can be distributed into seven programs, including roadside vegetation, historical resources, state land management, city parks and open space, soil and water enhancement, county conservation and state open space.
Projects across the state have focused on soil and water quality, outdoor recreation opportunities, economic development, and education about ecological and environmental assets.
Iowa City has been awarded nearly $2 million in REAP grants over the last 32 years, according to the city. The city has received 13 REAP grants in recent years.
Iowa City’s most recent REAP grant was used for ecological restoration and enhancement of Whispering Meadows Wetland Park. Other REAP grants included funds for Hickory Hill Park and Terry Trueblood Recreation Area.
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